Hospice Malaysia launches campaign to encourage support for families facing serious illnesses


  • Nation
  • Monday, 01 Oct 2018

Hannah Yeoh (in red) accompanied by Hospis Malaysia chairman Datin Kathleen Chew and sculptor Yusof Gajah (far right) taking a closer look at the elephant sculptures after launching the Speak Up -There

KUALA LUMPUR: Too often, families who have a loved one suffering from a serious illness find it difficult to talk about their situation or ask for help.

Hospis Malaysia has started a campaign called Speak Up - There's an Elephant in the Room to encourage conversations to support these families.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh, who launched the campaign on Monday (Oct 1), said that Malaysia is an aging country, and by 2030, more than half the population (51.3%) will be aged 60 and above. 

She also addressed the “not in my backyard syndrome” that most Malaysian practice as a way of distancing themselves from other people's problems.

“Love your neighbour as you love yourself,” she said. 

Yeo added that people should not stay away from the problems faced, and instead talk about it. 

Hospice Malaysia Chairman Datin Kathleen Chew spoke about her personal experience on her conversations with friends and family with terminal illness. 

She added that people should not fear, but instead talk about the end of life.

In conjunction with this campaign, 10 life-sized baby elephant sculptures were placed at KLCC Park Esplanade until Oct 14. 

The public is encouraged to take pictures with the elephants and post them with #speakupforpalliativecare to make it viral on social media. 

The Cik Gajah Limited Edition series have been created from sketches by Malaysia’s foremost naive art artist, Yusof Ismail or better known as Yusof Gajah, to draw attention to the issue. 
Each elephant sculpture has been adopted by donors from the private sector.
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